By JD Lagrange – It can’t be easy being a veteran who has given his team everything his entire career, only to see them blow it all up towards the tail end. It has to be even tougher when, you’re the captain of those teams, brought the City its last three Stanley Cups and you’re watching them trade young players as well. Such is the case for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in Chicago.
After the Kyle Beach scandal that swept through the organization, the team went through a major clean-up and new GM Kyle Davidson has decided not only to rebuild, but to even trade it’s young assets. Out went veteran players, out went 24 year-old and two-times 40 goals’ scorer Alex DeBrincat… and out went 21 year-old Kirby Dach.
DeBrincat was traded July 7 to the Ottawa Senators for the No. 7 (Kevin Korchinski) and No. 39 picks (Paul Ludwinski) in the 2022 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. That same day, Kirby Dach was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for the No. 13 (Frank Nazar) and No. 66 picks (Gavin Hayes) in 2022.
Those last two moves left many people puzzled, including the one they call Captain Serious. I guess the ultimate goal must be Connor Bedard…
Not given a fair chance
Questioned about the departure of the two young guns, Toews tip-toed his way around the question. Knowing that it’s not his style to speak up on sensitive issues, one cannot help but feel like he did nip the organization a bit. Toews said he felt “a lot bit of shock, a little bit of anger” when Dach was traded.
“Arguably, maybe [Dach] didn’t ever quite get his fair shot in Chicago”, said the long time captain.
If someone look at statistics, they would question Toews’ statement as the young center had the third most ice time amongst forwards (18:03). Only Kane and DeBrincat had more ice time. But when you dig a bit deeper, one can understand what he’s truly saying. Dach’s quality defensive abilities might have played against him.
Because of his great stick and 200-foot game at such a young age, Dach spent 1:07 minutes per game killing penalties. He had his best offensive success when centring Kane and DeBrincat yet, he only spent 15% of his even strength ice time with the two men. Most times, his regular shifts were on the third line with a variety of players, mostly paired with Philipp Kurashev.
With the news that Nick Suzuki will be missing two weeks to injuries, and that Sean Monahan is still not at 100% after his last hip surgery, Dach will get a good chance to show what he can do at training camp and in exhibition games. It will be up to him to seize his opportunity and prove Kent Hughes right for acquiring him and include the 13th overall pick in that deal.